Distraught Bolton may be forced to withdraw from FA Cup
Published 22:30 18/03/12 By Alan Nixon
Bolton Wanderers are ready to pull out of the FA Cup because of the Fabrice Muamba tragedy.
The Premier League has postponed tomorrow’s trip to Aston Villa because of the distress of Bolton’s players and management.
Boss Owen Coyle, who was with Muamba from the moment he collapsed and during his hospital fight for life, had told his chairman Phil Gartside that he did not want the Villa game to go ahead.
Bolton’s players are too distraught to think about football just now while the senior officials try to work out what happens next.
It is also likely that Wanderers will pull out of the FA Cup rather than face a re-match with Tottenham at the spot of the harrowing incident.
The game would be played a week tomorrow, but the top figures at the Reebok fear that the psychological effect of a return would be too much for their team.
One leading source said: “This is a group of young men, just kids really. How could they cope with going back to Spurs and going through it all again?”
Tottenham would be given a bye into the semi-final against Chelseaas a result, but Bolton would not face a penalty if they go down that road.
Bolton’s relegation six-pointer with rivals Blackburn Rovers, due to be played on Saturday, will also be under review - with a decision on that game due shortly.